My worst fears of potentially millions of pounds of Uttlesford’s taxpayer’s money being wasted on a fruitless appeal have come to pass. This was always the likely outcome as I and others repeatedly stated over the last two years. Sadly, this is where R4U have led us all by confusing campaigning with governing and making promises they could not keep.
Rules around planning and airport expansion are set so they can be applied all over the country. They take into account many factors, not just the views of those of us in the immediate vicinity. Neighbouring MPs and those across the East of England were very supportive of the proposed increase in passenger numbers. Given the Government is also under pressure for environmental reasons not to exponentially increase runways and airports, increasing capacity via existing infrastructure is the only option to meet the needs of a growing population.
Running a council is about making difficult decisions not telling people what they want to hear. No one in government, local or national, can make everyone happy and it is critical we are always honest with voters as to what can realistically be achieved under the law. R4U’s failure to level with the electorate has now left many residents disappointed.
Stansted Airport is the largest employer in the constituency. The economic impact of COVID19, means that many constituents have lost jobs that rely on the airport and its supply chain with devastating consequences. My priority now is to ensure they continue to function and provide employment and income to people who live here.
I hope we can move forward from this sad saga and on to sensible discussions on airports and planning, rather than R4U’s unrealistic campaign promises which may win votes but lose trust.